Software Recommendations

Some of our favorite free and almost-free web tools that we’ve used to support our work over the years.

Audio/Visual & Design

  • Canva Online design tool helps amateurs create appealing logos and graphics.
  • Coffivity Ambient café sounds at your fingertips.
  • Sticker Mule Our go-to website for creating custom stickers and other swag.
  • Background Music Sprout’s favorite sonic backdrop for events and gatherings.
  • Color Calculator A powerful tool to create color combinations that work together well.
  • Immersive Soundscapes Multifunction website for creating aural environments.
  • Noun Project Top-notch library of icons and non-language-based imagery.
  • A website that makes you feel like you are standing in the rain.
  • Unsplash Excellent collection of searchable, Creative Commons-licensed images.
  • Working Music Listen to this while working on an experience design project.


  • Etherpad Color-coded text lets many users read, write, and collaborate at once.
  • G Suite Our favorite live collaboration tool. What did we do before Google Docs?
  • HackMD A simple and elegant markdown editor.
  • SignNow A secure way to share and sign documents.
  • Slack A helpful platform for communicating that isn’t email.


  • Egg Timer Display a countdown timer on screen at an event.
  • Eventbrite Best-in-class tool for advertising and managing in-person events.
  • Icebreaker Tags A quick nametag generator for your next get-together.
  • Meetup Simple-but-mighty platform helps organize events related to interest areas.


  • Typeform Super-flexible, mobile-friendly tool for creating surveys and applications.


  • Bullet Journal Our favorite method for organizing your handwritten notes.
  • Calendly Meeting and appointment scheduling tool with great calendar integrations.
  • NeuYear Calendar A designerly calendar for multi-month planning.
  • Pomodoro A time-based way to structure your working sessions. Also a fruit.
  • Todokyo Lists expire at the end of each day, so hurry up.
  • When Is Good? Super-simple tool for finding a time for busy people to meet.

Project Management

  • Asana Our communications team swore by this task-management tool.
  • Basecamp Collaborative project management tool for teams.
  • Trello Organize your project using boards, lists, and cards.


  • Crowdrise Highly customizable crowdfunding platform with chummy customer service.
  • Hootsuite Flexible social media scheduling tool; works well with multiple platforms.
  • Tweetdeck Twitter-specific social media scheduling tool.


  • Hemingway It’s like a spellchecker, but for style. No adverbs, please.
  • OmmWriter Minimalist, pay-as-you-like writing tool with groovy ambient soundscapes.